Five Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions have partnered to help enhance the schools' cybersecurity.
Indiana University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced on Wednesday the launch of OmniSO, a sector-based cybersecurity operations center that provides cyber intelligence to its members.
"With tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff, university campuses are really like small cities, with sensitive data and powerful computing systems that are coveted by cyber criminals," said Tom Davis, OmniSOC founding executive director and chief information security officer.
The goal of the initiative is to help higher education institutions reduce the time from first awareness of a cybersecurity threat to mitigation.
"Higher education is for the most part an open environment, so we often see cybercrimes that others have not," said Greg Hedrick, chief information security officer at Purdue University.
Each campus has its own center that provides real-time monitoring and threat detection services 24 hours a day.
Brad Wheeler, IU's vice president for information technology, said the partnership is modeled from a similar agreement between eight of the largest U.S. banks.
"This focuses on time," he said. "It reduces the time from first awareness of a vulnerability anywhere to mitigation everywhere among members."
Wheeler said the universities' partnership is the first of its kind in higher education.